Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Rumours of War

Modi is running to get re-elected as Prime Minister of India. Some think he wants a war with Pakistan to help his chances of winning. So far, he rattled a few sabres, but MAD has (so far) managed to avert a war between India and Pakistan, just as it managed to avert war between the US and the USSR from the end of WWII until the USSR ceased to exist. Headlines in the newspapers a month or two ago were, 'Nuclear War near. You'll never guess where.' (Assuming their readers would all think of US/DPRK or US/USSR or US/PRC, not India and Pakistan.)

Trump is running to get re-elected as President of the US. It is a long-standing tradition that US Presidents always start a war in Year 3 of their presidency to help with re-election. Reagan picked Grenada. Bush, Sr. picked Iraq (he'd already had a war with Panamá, but then the cartoonists showed Uncle Sam in his trophy room with his elephant gun and two mouse heads mounted on his wall, so he needed a nation where victory would look more impressive than that). Bush, Sr. declared victory after 100 hours, and lost re-election. Clinton picked Yugoslavia, and won re-election (of course, the war was still going on, plus continuing Bush, Sr's war in Iraq, which goes on to this day). Bush, Jr picked Iraq. Obama picked Libya.

So what nation will Trump pick? The USSRRussia is back, making life much more difficult than it was for presidents Bush, Sr. through Obama. The US MSM all say MAD no longer exists, the US has become so much more advanced than any other nation, there is now only AD of America's enemies. Of course, that's what MacArthur told Truman, and Truman fired him. MAD seems to have convinced every US (and Soviet) leader that war with another MAD power would be inadvisable in the extreme.

And Russia has said, 'No regime change in Venezuela.' And the PRC might say, 'No regime change in the DPRK or Iran.' So whom the heck can Trump pick for a war? Not clear.

On 2 May, the US has ordered that no one can buy one drop of oil from Iran, and the US has proved it can and will demand the arrest of anyone who buys any Iranian oil and goes to any EU country or the UK or any country in the Americas (except Venezuela and Cuba) or the Antipodes, all of whom have agreed to extradite to the US anyone the US demands (except maybe one of their own citizens). So any persons from China or India who buy any Iranian oil had better watch where they travel.

Of course, after Canada arrested an officer of Huawei for selling a phone to an Iranian and promised speedy extradition to the US for life imprisonment, the PRC said they planned to execute 3 Canadians. So Canada sent the officer home to House Arrest in her $20 million mansion, and the US and the PRC seem able to live with that (China has not yet executed the Canadians). The extradition hearing seems indefinitely postponed.

The world leaders are tiptoeing through the mire of managing to avoid MAD, and most of us hope this will continue, in spite of all the pressures from the US MSM to start a war with the DPRK and/or Russia.

The Concerned Scientists say the Doomsday Clock is now just 2 minutes to midnight.

Pollyannas, those concerned scientists.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Next steps for neo-Imperialism?

Trump ran on a 3-legged platform: peace with Syria and Russia, and regime change in Iran. Flynn went to Moscow and did a programme for the Russian propaganda channel where they asked him what Trump would do, and he said the most important thing would be regime change in Iran. Then he got indicted for accepting money from a foreign state (they paid him to be on Russian TV) and had to resign from his position in the Trump administration, but the promise of regime change in Iran still stands (while the promises of peace with Syria and Russia are looking very shaky). Trump's administration is hoping for complete sanctions against Iran: anyone who buys from or sells to Iran will be prohibited from doing any business with the US, and if the US$ is used, heavy fines and arrests of the guilty parties (like the lady arrested in Canada at the request of the US Department of Justice who is looking at life in prison for selling phones to Iran).

To Iran has been added Venezuela. Guaidó declared that a) he was the sole Venezuelan Head of State; and b) he was handing all Venezuelan assets (including those owned by Russia and the PRC) to whomever would recognise that he is the sole Venezuelan Head of State. The US continues to buy most of the oil produced by Venezuela, but no longer pays for it (all the money must go, of course, to Guaidó, but Maduro, the elected president, won't allow that). So Venezuela is short of food and medicine. The US sent a small amount of food and medicine, saying it can only be delivered to Guaidó, but the government won't allow any of it to go to Guaidó, so it's sitting in Columbia. Maduro figures the US will soon send the military to force regime change, but the US prefers to a) start a crisis by withholding/blockading all payments due to the country so there's a shortage of everything; then b) heavily funding the opposition until they engineer the coup, with help and support from the US, but it's locals raping and killing the young girls, not Americans, so, as Elliott Abrams told Ms Ilhan, don't blame the US, they did great favours for all those Latin American countries the US transformed from impoverished, brutal dictatorships into peaceful and prosperous democracies, and Ms Ilhan had absolutely no right, just because she somehow got elected to the Congress, to question his great results spreading peace, freedom, democracy, and prosperity. (Many members of the Congress figure she should be drummed out of the Congress and replaced by someone who will give Mr Abrams the respect he so richly deserves.)

For reasons that escape Mr Abrams & the rest of the Trump administration, the Venezuelan opposition is having a little trouble, since 60% of Venezuelans, including almost all of the army, support President Maduro.

So now the question is, what next? Iran or Venezuela? Because of the JCPOA by St Obama, the US establishment is against sending troops to Iran; however, they're fully behind sending troops to Venezuela.

Of course, one question is, 'What about Xi-who-must-be-obeyed?' There was also a Russian plane that landed in Venezuela and then returned to Russia, and it's said the plane left behind a squad of Russian advisors to the Venezuelan army, but this is just a rumour. So an US/UK/EU attempt to force regime change in Venezuela might involve more than the usual US regime change in Latin America.

And a unilateral US regime change in Iran might also go rather differently than Iraq or Libya.

And, of course, the US Intelligence services and the US military want regime change in Syria, Russia, the PRC, and the DPRK, and consider all four more important and more urgent than Iran or Venezuela.

Every president since Reagan has started a war in Year 3 of his presidency. And this is Trump's Year 3. So where do we go now?????

Friday, February 8, 2019

State of the Union?

Trump gave his State of the Union address a week late. Speaker Pelosi banned his giving it while the shutdown was on, so Trump and the Senate agreed to fund the government for 3 weeks and Pelosi let Trump give the State of the Union. He got standing ovation after standing ovation, even from the #NeverTrump, #MeToo Congresswomen in White. The mainstream media said the State of the Union was weak, insipid, rambling, and incoherent, and no one could possibly stand to watch it.
The State of the Union had a 76% approval rating, but that number must be taken with several grains, or probably cups, of salt. Before, everyone watched the State of the Union, but now, only Democrats watch Democrat presidents and only Republicans watch Republican presidents, so that 76% isn't really that impressive. The polls ask, 'Did you see the State of the Union,' and when one answers, 'Heck no,' one's opinion isn't sought, or accepted if given without being asked. The mainstream media 'knew' Trump's State of the Union would be weak, insipid, rambling, and incoherent, and no one could possibly stand to watch it, so they felt absolutely no need to waste their time actually watching it.

Trump wants to pull out of Syria and Afghanistan, but when he threatened, several members of his cabinet resigned, and were replaced by neocon hawks who say the US needs to send far more troops, and not just to Syria and Afghanistan, but all over until the US neo-Empire covers the entire planet. So no one has a clew what's really going on.

Trump is also promising military action to force regime change in Venezuela. Every US/UK/EU propaganda channel says the corrupt Maduro regime gets billions a month in oil money, hides it all, and leaves ordinary Venezuelans without any food or medicine. The Russian and Chinese propaganda channels say the problems in Venezuela are all caused by the US/UK/EU sanctions. Some of us figure it's probably both.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Trump plans regime change in Iran

Trump has been saying he intends to force regime change in Iran since 2015. Flynn was invited to Russia to tell them more about Trump, whom they hadn't heard much about, and he explained that Trump's main goal as president would be regime change in Iran.

This actually goes back to Bush, Jr's 2003 State of the Union address, rated as among the 5 best State of the Union addresses, ever, by the Washington Post. Back in September, 2001, some thought Saudi might have had something to do with the 9/11 attack. Bush, Jr. knew better. He gave orders on 11 Sept 2001 that absolutely no one could fly except Saudis, since he knew the Saudis practice a peaceful, non-violent version of Islam. Top US experts tell us it's the Shi'a version of Islam, which prohibits all violence.

No, Bush, Jr explained in 2003, it was Iran that ordered the 9/11 attacks, trained and paid the thousands of hijackers who were their coreligionists in Afghanistan, Iraq, the DPRK, Libya, Syria, and Cuba (the last three weren't in the State of the Union address, Bush, Jr added them later). We know the hijackers must have spent time in Iran because, when US immigration checked their passports, there were no Iranian visas (proving they'd been to Iran, but secretly, since the Iranians are so clever). Con Coughlin, the always reliable UK journalist, noted that Iran gave some of the hijackers badly faked Saudi passports, but none of the hijackers were Saudis, and I know we can all trust Con Coughlin, just as we can trust the US experts, who teach us that Iran and its coreligionists follow the Sufi sect of Islam, a sect dedicated to violence and jihad.

We know that Mullah Omar in Afghanistan must be a follower of the Ayatollahs, since Omar is one of the most popular names in Iran, and is the surname of many of the Ayatollahs, including Omar Khomeini and Omar Khamenei, just as we know Saddam was another of their loyal and devout jihadi followers, and so was Kim's father and also Castro and most Cubans, and so is Kim and the rest of the DPRK.

So anyone can see Trump's war to force regime change in Iran will be more than justified, and we hope his war transforms Iran from an impoverished, brutal dictatorship and state sponsor of terror into a democratic, peaceful and prosperous paradise (as Thomas Friedman has frequently praised Bush, Jr and Obama for accomplishing in Iraq and Libya).

Every president since Reagan has started a war to liberate some oppressed country early in his 3rd year (to help with re-election), and Trump is now in his 3rd year, so it's about time, and I expect the regime change in Iran to start in the next couple of months (shutdowns don't affect the US military).

Thursday, January 10, 2019

US Government Shutdown

Most governments don't just shut down. But the US does. Usually, just for a day or two. But Trump is different. Trump gave a speech that more people are killed by illegal immigrants every year than died in the Vietnam War, and the only answer is more border security and a $5.6 billion wallbarrier. The House Speaker says any wall under Trump is immoral (unlike his predecessors, when 600 miles of wall was a moral imperative), so not 1¢ for a wall. So far, the Congress hasn't passed a budget with funding for the unfunded agencies, so Trump has nothing to sign or veto. Having said the lack of a wall kills more than the Vietnam War, Trump would have a hard time backing down. Having said the wall is immoral, I can't see the Democrats backing down. So 800,000 government employees won't be getting paid (and it's illegal for them to take other jobs). Most are low-level, low paid, living pay-cheque to pay-cheque, so to pay the rent and keep food on the table, they have to take out very high-interest loans. In the past, once the shutdown was over, the furloughed Federal workers were all paid their full wages, but the interest will still take a hefty chunk when they finally get paid. People with pre-paid trips to visit Federal parks or museums have a hotel room next to a park or museum that's closed. And people who desperately need Federal forms won't get them.

But the wars will go on. Trump said he was immediately withdrawing from Syria, but most people didn't understand: 'immediately' in English means, 'later, maybe never.' Or so say Bolton and Pompeo.

So the shutdown inconveniences a lot of people, but none of the usual evils will be delayed or reduced in the slightest.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

1st Post 2019

It's 2019.

Reagan, both Bushes, Clinton, and Obama all started wars early in Year 3 of their first term to assist with their re-election bids (worked for all but Bush, Sr.). And it's now Year 3 of Trump's first term. Since '15, Trump has been promising regime change in Iran. The US media is against it, since Obama signed a Peace Treaty (of course, Clinton had a 'peace treaty' with Saddam, and Bush, jr had a peace treaty with Qaddafi, so one assumes if St Hillary had been elected, she'd have announced that she wanted to stick with Obama's peace treaty with Iran, but Iranian violations forced her to go to war, and the entire US print and broadcast media would cheer St Hillary on as she led the regime removal, just as they'll condemn Trump for violating that treaty).

The 'experts' say that Iran should not be a top priority, the DPRK, Russia, and China must come first. The US hasn't had much luck against any countries that were not in Latin America. Regime change in Iraq and Libya: easy. A working government where the US corporations could safely exploit all the natural resources: much more difficult. And Russia, China, and the DPRK are all in a league the US has always been rather cautious about challenging. In '45, Truman knew Japan was defeated, so he ordered the US military to use every nuke they had on Japan (they only had 2, and they dropped both of them and destroyed 2 undefended Japanese cities--nukes were too expensive to risk against defended cities).

Then, 6 years later, MacArthur wanted to use nukes against China, but Truman knew the USSR could provide China with a nuclear umbrella, so he fired MacArthur.

Candidate Trump promised no war with Syria or Russia (another of his lies). But Trump seems at least as intelligent as Truman: he hasn't tried regime change in the DPRK, Russia, or China (for which he's called a traitor, leaving those heinous threats un-nuked). The 'experts' who want Trump to destroy the DPRK, Russia, and China think those nations can't do any more than Japan could in '45.


The Concerned Scientists say the Doomsday Clock is just two minutes before midnight. Those Concerned Scientists are all Pollyannas.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Not much happened

Syria shot down a Russian plane on 17 Sept, and Russia said it would give Syria some S-300 missiles that a) had IFF that the S-200 missiles lack, so Syria would be unable to shoot down another Russian plane; and b) are capable of shooting down IAF planes. The missiles have been delivered, but no IAF planes have been shot down (and nor has another Russian plane). So no news.

Mr Jamal Khashoggi was murdered on 2 October, and everyone predicted something would happen. It didn't. MbS, the current unofficial ruler of Saudi Arabia (unofficial until his father's death, when he becomes the official ruler) is still supported by Trump, May, Macron, and Merkel and doesn't seem to be going anywhere (well, to world meetings like the G20, but not out of power); many want him replaced by another prince in the al-Saud tribe, but that hasn't happened, and the more time that passes since Jamal's death, the less likely it is that anyone will do anything. So no news.

The war in Yemen continues, and the New York Times is doing just as it did in Vietnam. Back when LBJ was president, the Vietnam war was necessary since North Vietnam attacked a US Navy ship in international waters, an incident equivalent to Pearl Harbor, and major US gains meant the war would soon be won. After Nixon took office, the war was an illegal action involving many war crimes, all based on Nixon's lie that North Vietnam attacked a US Navy ship in international waters, no progress was being made, and the US was absolutely unable to defeat North Vietnam was was just wasting money and US lives. During the last 5 years, rinse and repeat: while Obama was president, the US was helping the Saudi coalition stop terrorism in the Yemen; now that Trump is president, the war is all Trump's fault and is illegal and murdering thousands of babies and is in the newspapers daily, but the Congress voted not to vote on the war, and even if it ordered Trump to stop (as it ordered Obama to stop his regime change in Libya), Trump could just ignore them and no one could do anything. So, again, no news.

Huawei was winning the war for smartphones against the US, so the US declared Huawei illegal, asked all countries to arrest any Huawei officer travelling through them, and Canada obliged and arrested the CFO, who was denied bail for a week or two, but finally was bailed out with a multimillion (Canadian) dollar bail and an ankle bracelet. The US hopes it can get Huawei phones banned outside of China, and shut down the company. Not clear what will happen.

China is trying to figure out what to do. As the Chinese propaganda channel said back during the ZTE crisis, the US owns Android and iOS, so the US can prohibit export, and stop all smartphone production outside the US, but Trump didn't go that far with ZTE, just a few billion dollars in fines, and they could keep making Android phones. Now it is Huawei, and this looks more serious. China retaliated by arresting some Canadians, but it's not clear what Canada will do. The US is too close and too dangerous, and letting a few Canadians die in Chinese gaols is a small price to pay.

Unless, of course, things escalate to the point of war between the US and China, but Canada will probably write off any Canadians arrested in China, and say, 'Good Canadians don't ever go to China.' Not clear if China will try arresting some Americans, or what the US might do if China did.

Likewise, the US arrested a Russian who was in the US for an NRA convention and says she's a shpion. Her lawyers told her to confess she was an unregistered lobbyist, and now it's not clear what the US will do: deportation or prison. Or what Russia will do. The Ukraine is trying to get US warships into the Sea of Azov. Many US 'experts' say that MAD is no longer. The US has AD for any nation foolish enough to defy the orders of the US, orders which, as Thrasymachus would say, are legal and must be obeyed unless a nation is foolish enough to risk its own obliteration as happened to any nation that defied Rome back in the day. With the US, nations that never defied the US were obliterated, but those nations had no one to defend them (and not much in the way of defences).

Now the establishment media wants the US to force the DPRK, Russia, and China to comply with US military expansion, or else. But so far, nothing has happened. Some of us believe that, unlike places like Iraq and Libya and Afghanistan and Syria and the Yemen, the DPRK, Russia, and China could do something, but a lot of damage would be done to any of them that provoke the US, so they might lay low and let the US do whatever it wants. Or not. And the US hasn't tried to do to any of those three what it did to Iraq and Libya and Afghanistan and Syria and the Yemen.

Trump is still planning regime change in Iran in '19 to help with his re-election. Mueller is hoping to convince the Congress to impeach and convict, but he probably can't.

So things are likely to remain just as they are, and the children in the Yemen will continue to starve.